The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Fight breaks out in preseason

Men’s basketball wins in a duel against E.A. Sports
 Fight breaks out in preseason
Fight breaks out in preseason

Fight breaks out in preseason

SMU played its final preseason game Wednesday night when it played host to the E.A. Sports All-Star team at Moody Coliseum.

Although sluggish during the start of the game, the Ponies were victorious with a convincing 100-73 victory. True freshman guard Bryan Hopkins and forward Quinton Ross led the way for the Mustangs.

The first half looked to be going in the way of the E.A. Sports All-Star team until Voc Atkins came off the bench with six minutes left in the half. An always energetic and vocalized Atkins took immediate control of the game. With SMU trailing by eight points, Atkins knocked down a deep three-pointer that pulled the Mustangs out of their hole and eventually led to a big comeback.

“We got off to a very slow start,” SMU coach Mike Dement. “We did not have a lot of energy. When Voc came off the bench, he provided the spark that we really needed.”

From that time on, the Mustangs did not look back. After trailing at one point by more than 10 points, the Mustangs turned the game around and went into the half with a 13-point lead.

At the start of the second half, the Mustangs picked up right where they left off. Freshman center, Donatas Rackauskas, who hails from Lithuania, was a force in the paint, grabbing numerous rebounds that would lead to numerous fast break opportunities.

SMU immediately expanded its lead to 20 points within three minutes into the second half.

It seemed as though time was just ticking off the clock, delaying the inevitable Mustang victory, when an unexpected fight broke out.

Aki Thomas, a recent graduate from Howard University and E.A. Sports All-Star forward, shoved Mustang center Nigel Smith. Even though this was an exhibition game, Smith did not back off.

Smith retaliated with a shocking powerhouse punch that thankfully missed Thomas. In case you didn’t know, Smith is a 6 foot-10-inch giant with arms the length of a ladder. Smith’s punch could have been very damaging if had landed.

Within seconds, the benches were cleared and both teams were on the floor to support their teammates. Although no one was looking to fight, E.A. “All-Star” Thomas kept on swinging. All three referees tried to calm Thomas down, but nothing seemed to help. Cue the SMU police.

Thomas was escorted off the court by two SMU police officers, due to his childlike temper tantrum.

As the last five minutes wound down, almost all of the players got a final chance to showcase their skills before the regular season kicks off.

Freshman Ryan Hopkins put the nail in the coffin, hitting a floating jumper, getting SMU to the 100- point mark. Sorry Maverick fans, no chalupa.

Right now, SMU has their sights set on this Sunday afternoon, when it plays host to the much hated TCU Horned Frogs.

“We really want a great crowd on Sunday,” Dement said. “We are going to have to play harder against TCU. We have got to have a lot of energy.”

This season is full of expectations for the Mustangs. One of the nation’s top freshmen, Bryan Hopkins, was selected as the preseason WAC Newcomer of the Year, and forward Quinton Ross was selected as the preseason WAC Player of the Year.

As a team, SMU is predicted to finish second in the WAC this year.

“In order for us to win, we have got to get better. TCU is a good team and we need to practice hard,” Quinton Ross said about Sunday’s game.

Come out Sunday and support your Mustangs at 5:05 p.m. Get there early and be loud.

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